DURBAN - The Gift of the Givers found water while drilling for a borehole at the Shree Veeraboga Emperumal Temple in oThongathi.
OThongathi has been plagued with ongoing water supply issues which were exacerbated by the recent floods in KZN which damaged infrastructure.
The humanitarian aid organisation began looking for water yesterday at the temple and at Nkosibomvu Secondary School.
In an update on the borehole drilling on Facebook, the organisation said water has been found at Shree Veeraboga Emperumal Temple.
“In order to strengthen the wall of the borehole, the team is packing the hole with UPVC linings and gravel,” it said.
Yesterday, the organisation said geologist, named only as Dr Groenewald was on-site accompanied by Jaleel Mayat and Preggie Moodley in the greater oThongathi area to find geographically centrally located spots that are favourable for drilling within protected areas where geology permits.
“In addition to supplying water while the repairs of destroyed water infrastructure take some time, these new boreholes are also intended to enhance long-term water supply in these communities,” said the organisation.
The organisation said their geologist is waiting for the rock to be examined after water was struck at 32 metres.
“The rock type reveals the type of water that will come from it, including whether it is pure, contains heavy metals, has a high salt or fluoride content, and if it has excess iron, arsenic, manganese or other components,” it said.
The Gift of The Givers said the organisation is excited to move forward with the next phase as they await Dr Groenewald’s study of the rocks.
“There is a glimmer of hope for the water-stressed oThongathi community as our team drills our first borehole at Vishwaroop Temple,” it said.
In addition, the organisation said they were considering the use of a water filtration system.
“In oThongathi, Harold Odendaal, microbiologist and co-owner of Ametis Water, has offered us his filtration/purification plant. In this facility, E coli and other pathogens are removed without the use of reverse osmosis. The option is being considered.”
DA councillor Nicole Graham, councillor Yogis Govender and senior municipal officials visited the Tongaat Water Treatment Works on Tuesday.
“The devastation at Tongaat Water Treatment Works is catastrophic and the time frames projected are long. The best case scenario is to try and implement some short-term solutions until the bigger problems can be resolved,” said Graham.
In a statement on Thursday, eThekwini Municipality said senior leadership of the city met with residents from oThongathi on May 4 to discuss possible solutions to the water challenges in the area.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the municipality acknowledges the frustration of oThongathi residents due to the interrupted water supply.
“As part of the short-term plan, oThongathi residents will continue to receive water through water tankers with the assistance of the community and councillors. Included in the short-term plan is the installation of static tanks and the usage of boreholes,” he said.
He said medium-term solutions include exploring the viability and timelines of reviving the Umvoti Works.
“Discussions are currently under way with the iLembe District to confirm the possibility of this alternative. Options of the city using Siza water boreholes to redirect water from Hazelmere to oThongathi are also being discussed,” said Mayisela.
Mayisela added that the processes to start rebuilding the oThongathi Water Treatment Works are currently under way however, due to the extent of the damage and that the restoration of the treatment works will require a full upgrade, the project is expected to take six months.
“The municipality apologises for the inconvenience caused and requests the public to be patient while the city works to resolve the water issues,” he said.